Penn Preview

The Bulldogs travel to Philadelphia this Friday to take on the Penn Quakers at Franklin Field.  You can watch the game on ESPNU on Friday at 7 PM ET.

Penn enters the contest with a 4-1 record (1-1 Ivy) after a close victory over Columbia last week.  Columbia was driving downfield in the waning minutes and looked like they would be able to kick a field goal to send the game into overtime, but an errant pass was picked off by Penn sealing Priore’s victory over his mentor.  Penn opened the season with impressive victories over Bucknell and Lehigh before dropping their Ivy opener to Dartmouth 37-14.  The Quakers bounced back from the Dartmouth loss to defeat Sacred Heart 31-27 and Columbia 13-10.

Sophomore Ryan Glover is a dual-threat quarterback who has completed 59% of his passes this season.  Glover is averaging 159 yards passing per game and 44 yards rushing per game.  Karekin Brooks is the top threat out of the backfield and has had an excellent season so far averaging 107 rushing yards per game with 7 total touchdowns.  Abe Willows is a solid change-of-pace back with 4.7 yards per attempt.  Senior wideouts Steve Farrell and Christian Pearson are Glover’s favorite targets, but no receiver has over 200 receiving yards to date.  Penn’s offensive line has only surrendered 2 sacks all season.  The offense has really struggled to convert on third and fourth downs.  The Quakers have converted on only 30% of third downs and have not converted a fourth down in four attempts.  Penn becomes much more efficient in the red zone as they have scored points in 16 of 20 situations with 13 of those scores being touchdowns.

Penn always has a stingy defense and this year is no exception.  They have allowed just 312 total offensive yards per game while limiting rushers to 2.9 yards per attempt.  First Team All-Ivy linebacker Nick Miller leads the Quakers defense with 48 tackles, 4.5 tackles for losses, 3 sacks and a forced fumble.  Senior defensive lineman Cooper Gardner has 4 sacks on the season while speedy defensive end Benji Mowatt has 3.5 sacks.  Penn’s strong pass rush has made it difficult for opposing teams to exploit the secondary.

On special teams, Penn has made 6 of 10 field goals and averages 38 yards per punt.

14 thoughts on “Penn Preview”

  1. This is a game where Yale’s offense line must produce!
    Open the holes for the running game and Rawlings will take care of the passing game.
    Defense must be stout and pressure the qb and not allow the deep pass
    If Yale can overcome their mental lapses on both sides of the ball and not commit penalties they should be victorious.

    As I’ve said in the past this team has plenty of talent and great potential put forth 60 min. Of mistake free football and the game should favor our Blue squad
    Let’s go BIG BAD BLUE!!!!! Win out the season!!!!!

  2. I expect this game to be tight but also start to see some things that will start to gel. Look for Trenton Charles to blurr by the Penn defenders. Yale 24, Penn 21.

  3. This is basically an elimination game. Winner stays alive, loser has no realistic chance of winning the championship. It’s the biggest game of the year to date. Time to see what this Yale team is made of.

  4. It’s very tough to beat Penn in Philly. Yale is 2-11 against Penn in Philadelphia since 1992. Yale will need to play at their best to win.

  5. Penn “a team with all the strengths compatible with Yale’s weaknesses.”
    I noticed that, too, Anonymous.
    Which makes Son of Eli’s comment very appropriate: “Time to see what this Yale team is made of.”

    As for Bluedog’s “Defenses are even” comment, I can’t agree with that one.
    Penn allows 213 YPG and 20 PPG. (3rd in the league in both.)
    Yale allows 379 YPG and over 27 PPG. (6th of 8 in YPG and 7th of 8 in PPG)
    Penn has recorded 23 sacks – best in the league.
    Yale has recorded 8 sacks – second-worst in the league.

    It looks like Yale’s prolific offense, which has bailed them out in their victories this year, will be tested by a stout defense this week.

    Will the O overcome Penn’s D and carry the day? Or will the D step up and make the difference? Let’s hope for both!

    As usual, penalties and turnovers will play a role. Here’s hoping everyone is — and stays — healthy.

  6. Yale will be playing on a fast field friday this should help the offense. Charles if they call the right plays for him could have a big game.That play they use to throw to him out of the backfield penn will be all over it.The offense line seems to be coming along this will be a big test for them.If they can control the line against there defense we will win. Good Luck Yale.

  7. Team 146 showed me something when they beat Cornell in Ithaca, which is tough to do during their homecoming. However, beating Penn will require a greater effort. The key will be stopping Penn’s running game. If they can force Penn into lots of 3rd and longs, Yale will win.

  8. It will likely come down to whether the O line has its best game of the season and gives Rawlings plenty of time to hit his favorite targets, Shohfi and Klubnick and opens up the holes for Lamar and Alston. Their D is better than ours but if the O line does its job, we will win by outscoring Penn.

  9. Given this is a season saving battle for both teams I am assuming we will see their best tomorrow night.

    Defensively we need to get a few 3 & outs early and often to keep the momentum up for our defense. If we do that we will build up some rhythm and play better as a unit most definitely. This has held true so far this season. We must also find a way get pressure the QB which is something that has challenged us this year. We have been able to only do only sometimes with blitzes which need to be used but not overused. As previously stated though our offense will need to step up.

    Offensively, although we have great weapons we still look like we are searching to find out what we want to do with them. That is the result of having a new OC. We need to work within the flow of the game, take what the defense gives us, and not overdue things nor force the usage of people. Obviously the game will hinge on our players, Rawlings to Shohfi and Klubnik and the ground game of Lamar Dudek (hopefully) & Alston. Running the ball effectively is a must tomorrow. However, in the pass game we need to be prepared to exploit them with other options.

    It is a no brainer that Shohfi and Klubnik will have a bullseye on their chest for the defense. Clearly the priority is going to be to shut the two of them down in the pass game. Rawlings needs to check down to our other options (Howland, Sandifer, Locke) to open things up for Klubnik and Shohfi at some point in the game.

    Although Trenton Charles is fast we do not use him in the best ways. He is not the answer to take reps away for any of the RB’s running the ball. Throwing swing passes to him out of the backfield has been remedied by defenses in the last 2 games. When we split him up he never runs downfield receiver routes which is also a tip to his usage for the defense and easily remedied. Possibly putting him as a return guy would be a better option to get the ball in his hands. It is also better than risking Shohfi back there, as we cannot afford not to have him regularly. We need Cahill to have his best game also. GO BULLDOGS!!!

  10. Mercer gave Penn a blueprint for offensive success against Yale’s defense: throw deep jump balls all day.
    * The pass rush isn’t there, so the QB will have the time.
    * Our young DB’s have been burned on deep routes at times this year.
    * Even if they aren’t burned, they don’t turn and play the ball.
    * And, Yale is not likely to get as lucky with officiating this week regarding PI — zebras have a notorious history of hometown calls at Franklin, from my recollection. Princeton would surely agree: https://youtu.be/9u879VRfJ08?t=69

    On offense, the swing pass and WR screen are both overused, and rarely yield enough yardage to justify their use, or to justify the risk they entail (pick-6). Time to table them.
    A better use of Charles would be slipping out of the backfield behind the pass rush for a dump-off over the middle, so that he gets the ball beyond the mass of large bodies and has room in which to operate. Or, some further-downfield routes, as TNC suggests.

    Ultimately, teams that control both sides of the line play are hard to beat (see: Yale 2017). Regardless of how the skill-position weapons are used, we need the Blue to bring their A-game in both the OL and DL. If they do, everything else should take care of itself. If they don’t, the struggle is real.

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